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  • Bob Burg

“Master the contents of Endless Referrals and you will practically GUARANTEE your future success.”

~ Tom Hopkins, Author, Master the Art of Selling

Who Is John Allison? A Principle-Based Leader

January 9th, 2015 by Bob Burg

When it comes right down to it, leadership is really a reflection of…who one is! It is about one’s character and principles. It is about one’s philosophy.

I posted about John Allison in “Those With High Character Take A Stand” and in reviewing his Number One New York Times Bestseller, The Financial Crisis And The Free Market Cure. That book was selected by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top 5 books on the financial crisis.

Just a few weeks ago I posted a review of his newest book, The Leadership Crisis And The Free Market Cure. I gobble up books on leadership and have learned a ton from many of them. This one might be the most important one yet.

John Allison: The Leadership Crisis and the Free Market CureAfter all, there’s a lot to learn from someone who as Chairman and CEO led his company, BB&T, through 20 years of explosive growth (from $4.5 billion to $152 billion in assets during his tenure!). This while many of his competitors were failing left and right.

More importantly, he did it the right way; through creating value for everyone whose lives he and his bank touched. He refused to participate in sub-prime lending even though that would’ve been the easy, profitable and accepted way to do business at that time. In fact, he was — let’s say — strongly encouraged by government regulators to do so. However, because it was contrary to what he believed was right, he refused. Yet, his bank flourished.

Harvard Business Review named him one of the decades top 100 most successful CEOs!

And, this brings us to today’s conversation. You see, all the above was driven by his character, based on the values and principles he lives by, congruent with his life philosophy. And, as he discusses both in the book and in our chat, this influences all forms of leadership: personal, business, and societal.

The current CEO of the highly-regarded libertarian think tank, Cato Institute, he doesn’t pull any punches, and you’ll see he doesn’t here!

John Allison: The Leadership Crisis and the Free Market CureCato Institute


In this chat we discuss:

    • A nut-shell explanation of the cause of the financial crisis
    • Why leaders fail
    • That we all have, and live by, a philosophy…whether we realize it or not
    • The importance of training your emotions to support what you know is the right decision
    • The essence of self-esteem and why it is THE most important issue of all


To order Mr. Allison’s book click here. For more information on The Cato Institute, visit www.cato.org.

TECHNICAL NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the interview, please make sure Adobe Flash Player is installed in your web browser. If not, then download Flash Player. Or right-click here and select “Save Link As…” to download the audio file to your computer.

One Mom’s Very Persuasive Questions

January 2nd, 2015 by Bob Burg

What More Can I SayOne of the golden rules of human nature — as so perfectly illustrated by Dale Carnegie in his classic, How to Win Friends And Influence People — is that, “Ultimately, People do things for their reasons, not our reasons.”

As such, in order to elicit a person to make a decision and take the action you feel they should…they must feel they should. And, this will most likely only happen as a result of you asking the right questions.

Communication Authority, Dianna Booher suggests that “Questions allow the other person to collaborate on the data you’re collecting. That done, people {rarely} invalidate their own data when you use it to ask them to consider a change.”

In her new book (her 46th book, actually!), What More Can I Say: Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It, Ms. Booher provides a wonderful example of a mom who did just that with her teenaged son and his choice of cars:

“I recently overheard a mother using a series of questions to lead her sixteen-year-old-son to trade in an older-model sport car for a newer sedan, not quite the model the teen had in mind:

“‘What kind of gas mileage do you get in the sports car? What kind of mileage does the Kelley Blue Book estimate for the sedan? So, at the current price of gas, how much would you save on gas per year with the newer car? If you sold your used sports car and invested that money until graduation, plus the gas money you’d save between now and graduation, how much money would you have to buy a brand-new car for college?’”

“The teen opted to save for the newer car at graduation.”

Whether you’re leading a huge team, a small committee, or…a child, if your goal is to elicit the other person to willingly commit and buy-in to your request, rather than to make them grudgingly comply (and, we all know how that usually works out), then you need to help them see why it is in their best interest to do so.

And, as is usually the case, questions are the answer.

How You Can Become a Time…Multiplier

December 26th, 2014 by Bob Burg

He earned over $250,000 while in college selling magazine subscriptions during his summer breaks. In his 20′s he co-founded Nashville, Tennessee- based Southwestern Consulting. And, again he’s done something special.

Yes, leave it to 30-something uber-successful Rory Vaden to take a subject like Time Management and turn it on its head. Actually, he equips even the most time-challenged person to have more confidence in their ability to get the significant things done, and done right. More so, without sacrificing peace of mind and happiness.

In today’s world of technology, we find ourselves being pulled in more and more directions with less and less time to do that which we need do and do well. That kind of thinking keeps us stuck. As Rory says, “Creating the next level of results requires the next level of thinking.”

In my chat with Rory earlier this year regarding his New York Times Bestseller, Take the Stairs, we learned his very effective principles for self-discipline.

His new book is Procrastinate on Purpose: Five Permissions to Multiply Your Time. While the title is obviously counter-intuitive, the methodology he espouses — and learned/systematized due to his own needs — is brilliant and right on the mark.

In this chat, Rory will share wisdom from his terrific new book, including:Take The Stairs

  • The main difference in thought processes between ultra-successful people… and everyone else.
  • The biggest killer of getting the right things done.
  • What you thought you knew about time that just isn’t so.
  • Multiplying your time.
  • The all-important Focus Funnel.
  • The 5 Permissions that will turn you into a master of time rather than a victim of it.

Rory Vaden

Yep, my inspiring young friend, Rory, did it again with this book and shares some terrific wisdom here. Enjoy!

Remember, the goal is not necessarily to fit more in! The goal is to produce more results.

Will you begin to take the steps toward becoming that Time Multiplier that you now know you can be?

Rory will help you get started via this special video at www.ProcrastinateOnPurpose.com

TECHNICAL NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the interview, please make sure Adobe Flash Player is installed in your web browser. If not, then download Flash Player. Or right-click here and select “Save Link As…” to download the audio file to your computer.

How to Remember What You… Didn’t Say

December 21st, 2014 by Bob Burg

Certainty - How to Remember What You... Didn't SayThe long-running local children’s show featured a man with a genial manner and entertaining style. He was truly one of the most beloved area personalities and hero of many a young’un, including me.

So, it surprised me when — in my teens — talking with someone who’d been an audience member years earlier, he said he didn’t like him. Why? Because, according to this person, he’d yelled at the kids to “shut up!” as a commercial break was ending and they were about to come back live.

Years later I got to know this man, both through working with his production company on a project and…while dating his daughter.

In my mind there was no way this gentle man, this genuinely kind human being, would’ve told a bunch of young audience members to “shut up!” It just seemed totally out of character for this person I’d gotten to know.

So, I asked him about it. As hoped, he assured me he did not say that. He did remember the incident because it had been the only time in all those many years he’d ever had to even slightly raise his voice to his audience at all. The children were very noisy as the show was about to come back live and — as much as the producers had tried — they couldn’t get the kids to stop.

With just seconds left before air time he — in his naturally deep voice — simply said, “Kids, quiet down!” and that was that. Silence. And just in time. It probably surprised them that that he even stepped in at all since that was the job of the producers.

But, back to the exact words. I mean, it was a long time ago. Could he possibly have said it and just not remembered?

“No, Bob. It’s not possible. And, you know how I know it’s not possible?”


“Because it’s a word I never say. It was not allowed in my home growing up? And, we didn’t allow it in this home as our daughter was growing up. It’s simply not something I would ever, ever say.” (As a side note, same in the Burg home… thanks Mom and Dad.)

What a great lesson!

Have you ever said things to some people, or in certain contexts, that you just “know” you’d never say to other people or in other contexts?

Well, it’s not really so. If you would ever say something to someone in any situation, there is absolutely a great chance you would say it mistakenly to someone else or in some other situation. Even though you don’t think you would.

The only way you can ensure never doing so is if the word or expression itself is not part of your vocabulary.

If you would absolutely never say it, then you can indeed be sure and remember that you didn’t say it.

Otherwise…you might have.

What words or expressions have you consciously chosen to never say…ever!?

My Hypocritical Judgement

December 14th, 2014 by Bob Burg

My Hypocritical Judgement - Bob BurgThe other day, I witnessed a young man say something insulting and hurtful to the person he was speaking with.

I’m almost 100 percent certain he didn’t mean for it to come across the way it did…mainly because his comment appeared to have come from a total lack of any forethought whatsoever. It was thought-less of him to say.

And, I felt myself judging him. I literally (not figuratively, literally) said to myself, “What a stupid thing of him to say!”

Then, out of nowhere, some thoughts began to flood my mind. They were vivid memories of times from as far back as my boyhood to as recently as…well, much too recently, when I said or did something just as unthinkingly or maybe even just as hurtful. Perhaps the only difference is that while I’m still ashamed and embarrassed* by the realization of the hurt I caused, I don’t believe the young man is yet aware of his.

I do know that I immediately stopped judging him.

This does not mean that what he said was any less wrong or that he is any less responsible for his words and actions. Or, that I am any less responsible for mine. It just means that it’s part of the human condition that we probably all participate in at one time or another.

While we can learn from everyone (even by noticing their mistakes) we probably don’t need to judge them as much as we need to be consciously aware of what we ourselves say and do.


* Yes, I realize it does no good to continue to feel ashamed and embarrassed. We all have our mishegas to work through.